What is the Golden Visa?
The Spanish Act 14/2013, in force since September 2013, established an attractive residence permit program for foreign investors in Spain, also known as Golden Visa. This Spanish residence visa gives the holder the right to stay and work in Spain, and to enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Area, the world’s largest free-movement area. The Golden Visa is a visa provided to non-European investors, regardless of their nationality.
What are the requirements?
- The basic requirement is that the investor must make an investment in Spain, the most common investment being the purchase of at least 0.5M€ in real estate.
- Any type of real estate (residential, commercial, land, parking space, etc.) is fine in order to get the visa. Moreover, the investment may consist of one or several investments only if the total sum reaches at least 0.5M€.
- The Golden Visa can also be granted on the basis of an investment in Spain company or financial products. However, this is another story that we will not delve into…
- In addition to the real estate investment applicants will need a clear criminal record, medical insurance and sufficient economic means to cover any stay in Spain. Also applicants must not have previously been refused visas or entry into the Schengen zone.
- Getting the NIE (foreigners’ ID in Spain) and opening a bank account.
What are the costs?
The minimum investment requirements are net investments amounts. This means that in addition to this minimum amount, you shall pay transactional costs associated with the purchase , and the Golden Visa expenses.
- Property Transfer Tax (ITP): 6% – 10%, depending on the zone
- Stamp duty (AJD): 0% – 1.5%, depending on the type of property and the zone
- Notaries, Registry and Banking fees: 2%-3% aprox.
- Golden Visa documentation: 100€ aprox.
- Lawyers and real estate agents’ fees
For instance, if the applicant seeking the Golden Visa buys a property in Barcelona, he shall pay approximately 560.000€ to satisfy the investment hurdle.
What is the process?
The applicant needs to have committed to the investment prior to applying for the visa. An application can be made once a contract for sale has been signed and prior to completion of the sale at the notary. However the funds must be ready for investment in a bank account in Spain. The application for the residency visa then takes just 10 – 15 days. It is issued for two years, if applied for in Spain, and can then be renewed for a further five years provided the investment is maintained.
How about the investor’s family?
Both the investor and their family can stay in Spain with the same rights. This means that the investor can bring along their spouse/partner and under-18 children (or, however, children that are economically dependent on him). The visas for the family members are identical to the investor’s, and so are the requirements.
Living working and travelling
Applicants deciding to live full time in Spain will require medical insurance. However families will have access to all public services including state medical care and schooling. State schooling follows the Spanish curriculum but there are many English international schools also.
The Spanish residence permit gained through the golden visa allows freedom of travel throughout the EU Schengen zone.This means that the holder has the right to remain in Spain for an unlimited period of time, plus in the rest of the Schengen area for 90 days within each period of 180 days
Investors will only be taxed on their worldwide income if they are resident in Spain for over 183 days in any year. For those non-resident individuals who own a property and rent it out, tax is charged at 19% (EU, Iceland or Norway) or 24% on lease revenue For those non-resident individuals who own a property and do not rent it, a tax is charged at between 19% and 24% on the 1,1%-2% ofthe catastral value.
There are fixed costs such as IBI (annual tax payed to the council) and community expenses, if living in a condominium.
Citizenship and passport
Permanent Residency can be gained after 5 years in Spain provided the applicant has lived in the country for more than six months each year. Citizenship in Spain can be applied for after 10 years. However applicants will need to have been resident throughout that period in order to gain citizenship and a Spanish passport. Once applicants have either permanent residency or citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment as further golden visa renewals are not necessary.
GET THE GOLDEN VISA WITH EUROFINCAS
Eurofincas is a real estate agency based in Barcelona which provide full real estate and legal services to non-European investors who are willing to buy a property in Spain, either to get the Golden Visa. Our multi-lingual staff will not only find the best property, but also help you in getting the NIE and opening a bank acount in Spain, as well as providing you with all the information needed about the process.